Here’s a quick list of supplies that I use and recommend.
- Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album, Pocket, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) – This is a small landscape-format journal with heavy (140#/300gsm) paper that’s ideal for watercolor sketching.
- Strathmore Blank Watercolor Postcards pad of 15 – Simple, and exactly as described. Put a stamp on them, and you have a wonderful handmade gift. Or mail them to yourself during a trip and have a ready-made journal when you come home.
- Canson Drawing Pad 9×12 – A decent cheap paper thats good for practice. It’s what I’m using for Fake Art School lessons. It’s also better to by this locally. Michael’s ususally has it on sale.
- Sakura 18-Piece Koi Water Color Field Sketch Set with Brush or 24-Piece Set – My current watercolor favorite. The colors are brilliant, and with the included waterbrush this is all you need to start painting.
- Kuretake Waterbrush – 2 Way – Flat Head – This waterbrush is perfect for doing washes in my sketchbook. The flat tip is about 1/2” (13mm) wide and covers lots of area. I think this is the only flat waterbrush available.
- Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil, 2mm – I think this is the best lead holder that balances price and performance. It’s sturdy without being too heavy. But its best feature is the built-in lead pointer in the top cap, so there’s no need to carry a sharpener.
- uni-ball KuruToga 0.7mm Mechanical Pencil Starter Set – The KuruToga line of pencils have a rotating lead holder, so as you write or draw the lead is formed into a point. This reduces lead breakage, and keeps your lines the same width. For detail shading, the 0.7mm lead draws like a 0.5mm.
- Kneaded Rubber Eraser – These lift the graphite to remove it, and don’t damage the paper in the process. If you’ve only ever used pink or white erasers, get one of these. It’ll change how you think about erasing. By rolling over a pencil drawing you can lighten the lines, just like adjusting opacity in Photoshop.
Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen, Fine Nib, Black – An affordable fountain pen that works well. This is my main pen for the Fake Art School lessons. It can also use Platinum’s Carbon ink in cartridges. The Platinum Plasir is the Preppy’s big brother with a metal body. lt’s also a great choice.
Platinum Carbon Pen Ink Cartridges – This is one of the best waterproof inks for fountain pens. The cartridges are convenient for travel and en plein air work. They only fit Platinum pens, which makes the Preppy/Plasir great choices.
- Koh-i-noor Rapidograph Technical Pen Set – I’ve had the pen set for more years than I care to admit. I think these are the best technical pens on the market. They’re refillable, and can be completely disassembled for cleaning. If you’re a fan of the Micron pens, Rapidographs are their big brother. With some love, these pens will last a lifetime.The #1/0.50mm and #000/0.25mm are my favorites.
- Higgins Black Magic Ink – You can’t use a technical pen without ink. This is what I use because it’s waterproof and won’t smear when used under watercolors. It’s also half the price of Rapidograph-branded ink.
- uni-ball Jetstream RT Retractable Roller Ball Pen, Bold Point, Blue Ink, Pack of 3 – These pens have an easy-flowing ink that dries fast. They’re great for note taking and general writing and journaling. On paper that can handle fountain pens, they write like butter.
- Lixit Oral Syringe and Medicine Dropper – This is a convenience item, that lets me fill a waterbrush from a drinking water bottle. Sometimes a faucet isn’t available. This is a lifesaver when out in the field.
- Ranger Inkssentials Mini Misters, 3-Pack – Another convenience item, these little misters are surprisingly useful. They can pre-wet you paper for wet-on-wet effects, or dampen the paints themselves.
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